Category: 22 Bishopsgate

City Of London Skyscrpaer

What did the original photo look like?

I am often asked this question when I show people my work, and this view of 22 Bishopsgate makes a great example. Swipe to the left to reveal the original photograph, while the finished image can be seen on the right. Notice the changes from the photograph the finished work.


Click on the image to move the slider to the left or the right. Or you can grab the bar in the centre and drag to either side.


You need lots of photos!

On the right of the image, you see the main back-plate photograph as shot from Bishopsgate. I say main back-plate because I like to shoot many exposures to increase my options when I am back in the studio. This maximises creative control. Using different images I was able to remove the cars and clean up the foreground of the image.

Why I removed the cars

The foreground was cleaned up purely for artistic reasons. Having an open foreground changes the composition and thus the dynamic of the image. It is immediately calming, the image is more peaceful. The open space in front invites the viewer in, the eyes are lead to the focal point; 22 Bishopsgate. This image shows just how vast 22 Bishopsgate will look as you approach from Liverpool Street. With a cluttered foreground 22 Bishopsgate will merge with the background and the image will be confused. The viewer will not know instinctively where to look. To do this properly we need lots of shots, each time grabbing a different clean area of the street as the traffic moves.

Changing the look

Apart from the appearance of 22 Bishopsgate the another notable change is in the look and feel of the image. I knew what I was after before I arrived at Bishopsgate to shoot the back-plates. I wanted the image to invoke the feeling of late afternoon, low summer sun. As you can see the backplate turned out to be very blue, so the warmer look was all done in post-production using Photoshop.

A note on the glass used for 22 Bishopsgate

I want to briefly mention the glass as this was such an important part of these images. The glass looks to be a little different to most buildings and that’s because it is! My brief for 22 Bishopsgate was to use the same type of glass the Shard has. The best way to simply describe the nature of this glass is to say that it is more extreme in its behaviour. This means that when it reflects it reflects more, yet when there is little or no reflection it is clearer than other types of glass.  This has the effect of the surface being brighter when it reflects the sky, and conversely more see through when it reflects the surrounding buildings.





Photo montage of 22 Bishopsgate from St. Pauls' at sunrise

Sunrise over the City from St. Pauls Cathedral featuring 22 Bishopsgate

22 Bishopsgate at dawn

In my previous role as head of arch-vis at River Film, I completed a series of images of 22 Bishopsgate. These photomontage images were designed to illustrate how 22 Bishopsgate would relate to the city around it.

Although completed for some time this image only recently came into the public domain allowing it on our website. This image shows how of 22 Bishopsgate would be seen from Saint Paul’s Cathedral at dawn.

22 Bishopsgate project brings a rare opportunity…

22 Bishopsgate would be a major addition to the London skyline. Because of it’s importance to London, the views from the cathedral are carefully protected. Considering the size of the scheme it was no surprise that a view of 22 Bishopsgate from the top of Saint Paul’s was required.

I was lucky enough to be able to gain access to the Stone Gallery and the Golden Gallery at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. It was from the Stone Gallery that I was able to photograph the sunrise over the City. From these photographs, I would create the backplate for the photo-montage image of 22 Bishopsgate you can see above.

I was there to start taking photographs at first light, the first exposure was at 5:41 am. I continued shooting until 8:30 am. It was a beautiful experience from start to finish. I walked through the Cathedral in the dark before sunrise, I walked through the Whispering Gallery, the vast Cathedral was perfectly silent and still. I climbed to the Stone Gallery and set up to photograph a glorious sunrise over London, the city towers silhouetted by the ever changing sky. It was fantastic and the knowledge that I was capturing such beautiful backplates made the shoot one of the highlights of my career.

Planning and patience…

While there is always an element of luck to get the right conditions my chances of success were maximised by planning and organisation. I waited for the best weather, got there early and was prepared to stay for several hours shooting almost constantly. This meant that back in the studio I had my pick of many stunning images to use as a backplate. The lighting, the clouds the colours, are ever changing as the sun rises. With such great material, the options for a project like 22 Bishopsgate are wide and truly exciting. I hope you like the image. As I said earlier this is one in a series, there are still two more to come…

I would like to thank Oliver Caroe for getting up so early and allowing me access for a such a long length of time to get what I needed.